I have now been in the Chiropractic profession for almost 10 years, but before I knew as much as I do now, I also had to start with my first chiropractic appointment. My first experience was not due to a spinal injury, which in most cases, is where individuals begin with Chiropractic, but mine was due to a severe ankle sprain. So yes, as a Chiropractor, I do work closely with the spinal joints, but we also have had extensive training in ALL the joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves of the ENTIRE body. So if you sprain an ankle like me, or start feeling that old knee injury act up, or even some carpal tunnel type symptoms, remember that Chiropractic can help you in those aches and pains as well.
Now my initial meeting with a Chiropractor was back in Middle school, say 7th or 8th grade, and he actually came right over to my house. I sprained my ankle so badly playing basketball, to a point where it may have healed faster if I just broke the dang thing. See ligaments and tendons take longer to heal, they do not have as extensive as a blood supply as the bone does directly, and I sure stretched, ripped, probably tore more ligaments than my brain wants to recall right now as I am cringing again thinking about that pain. I jumped up for a rebound and came down on someone else’s foot, not my idea of a good time.
My parents knew right away who to call, a family friend who was a Chiropractor, and he came right over to my house. Now of course he made the recommendations of how to ice, when to heat, and to stay on crutches for at least a few days, but when he looked at my already black and blue and majorly swollen ankle, gave it a tug in one direction, my whole nervous system was in shock! Yes the shock was surprising and I can say it did not feel the greatest initially, considering the pain I was in, but WOW did I have relief! It felt as though my ankle could “catch its breath”, that it could get direct blood flow once again and as for the rest of my body, besides the shock of an adjustment, I never knew possible, it was flooded with new information, a way to heal, a way to change my thoughts from this is the worst possible feeling in the world and I will never be able to play basketball again, to dang, I am going to be up and running in no time!
Now I am not saying everyone will respond in this way, but a few things that helped contribute to my response were: 1. I was young and my body only had so many years of wear and tear on it (This is most certainly why I recommend beginning chiropractic as soon as you can, even in infancy.) 2. I promoted the healing process right away, gave my body the input it needed to not sit and swell and dwell in the misery of pain, but to heal and get back into shape as fast as possible with the adjustment 3. I had (still have) a great support team in my parents, coaches, friends, and Chiropractor, each played a role in the healing process, they were all there to support me and give me good thoughts of playing ball on the court once again 4. I listened to my chiropractor. I iced, I rested, I heated, I stretched, and I strengthened when necessary. I preach this to my patients now, there is only so much I can do to influence your nervous system, but you have to grab the right mindset and take the steps to want to be healthy and follow directions to get there. 5. I got back on the horse. It took some time and patience, but I worked my ankle and body back into shape and continued to play basketball and many other sports for many years.
Everyone will have a different experience with their first Chiropractic adjustment, but I wanted to give you mine. A new perspective since it was not initially for a spinal concern. Remember that each person will heal at different speeds, each will fight through different scenarios, but the best thing to do is take your healing day by day and expect to have highs and lows, until your body can find that happy spot!